Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Mat Eischens

The process control supervisor plays a crucial role when it comes to crafting our tasty brews. It requires overseeing plant operations for reverse osmosis (RO) water production, performing daily checks for our refrigerant system, ensuring proper water treatment of our cooling towers and a host of other technical responsibilities that all work to ensure a high-quality product from facility to fridge.

Lucky for us, we have just the man for the job.

Mat Eischens has been with Cold Spring Brewing Company for the past 14 years. A Cold Spring, Richmond-area native, Mat first became interested in our up-and-coming brewhouse happenings back in September 2006 – jumping at the chance to apply for one of our fast-paced positions.

“When I first applied to the brewery, they had been growing fast and had plenty of job openings,” explained Mat. “Also, at the time, energy drinks had just started to become very popular and with the brewery producing them, I thought it would be a great opportunity to break into a trending market.”

As process control supervisor, Mat oversees multiple brewhouse operations for our Plant A and Plant B facilities.

“My day-to-day consists of overseeing operations for the water treatment of our cooling towers, ensuring proper RO water production, helping out with the daily rounds for our refrigerant system, inspecting our pasteurizer and boiler room operations, and assisting with daily checks on our treatment plants,” said Mat. “My role is mainly to make sure that everything is functioning properly – after all, no one thinks about water until there is none!”

When asked about the most interesting aspect of working in the brewing industry, Mat said that he enjoys seeing how it is evolving and looks forward to seeing where it will go.

“I like working in the high speed environment of a brewery,” expressed Mat. “I also enjoy seeing how the industry is constantly adapting depending on new market trends.”

When Mat isn’t busy at the brewhouse, he enjoys hunting, ice fishing, golfing, watching racing and hanging out with his wife Lori and their kids Landon and Maya. Cheers to you and thank you for all you do, Mat!

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

I think we can all agree that clean water = great beer. That’s why we are happy to announce yet another Minnesota Water Quality Certified farmer! Through our partnership with Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District, every farm that gets the water quality certification also receives a Minnesota Gold 16 oz. 12 pack and a Minnesota Gold tin sign.

McAndrews Dairy LLC, consisting of Joe, Betty, Michael, and Kate, from Sauk Centre, recently became water quality certified through the MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program. Over the past few years, they have made upgrades to their manure storage facilities, which has allowed them to more efficiently utilize the manure generated from their 400-cow dairy. They are also utilizing no-till planting and cover crops in their cropping system to reduce the potential for runoff and leaching of nutrients and sediment to water resources. To become certified, they agreed to install alternative tile inlets on all open tile inlets to further improve water quality. Thank you for all you do to support this clean water initiative, McAndrews Dairy, and congratulations on the certification!

From left to right: Dennis Fuchs, Stearns County SWCD Administrator, Michael McAndrews, and Mark Lefebvre, SWCD Nutrient Management Specialist

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Linda Heinen

Here at Cold Spring Brewing Company, we strive to ensure that each and every batch of brew tastes perfect before they hit the market. That’s why, this month, we’re raising our glasses to our Brewhouse Quality Control Technician, Linda Heinen! Linda works hard to ensure our brews are crafted to perfection before they are packaged up and shipped out to liquor stores.

As the quality control technician, Linda is one of the last people to verify the product is ready to send out to the customer. Her technical role assures that the brews being produced are crafted with exceptional quality.

“I test the fermentation tanks for alcohol content and other specifications, plate for microorganisms and calibrate any equipment we use,” explained Linda. “My role ensures each batch of brew complies with quality standards and the microbiology of the beer is fit for market, so our customers can expect a high-quality product every time.”

Born and raised in Cold Spring, Linda graduated from Rocori High School and later went on to graduate from St. Cloud State University. Looking to stay in the area, Linda was seeking local work when she stumbled upon Cold Spring Brewing Company.

“I was familiar with Cold Spring Brewing Company and I thought it would be a good fit,” said Linda. “I’ve been in quality control from the start, first working in the production quality control lab and now I’ve recently made the switch to the brewhouse quality control technician role.”

Linda has been with the company for nine and a half years – so if you’ve had one of our brews in the past nine years, you can thank her for helping your Third Street favorites make it from final quality check to your glass!

When asked about the most interesting aspect of the brewing industry, Linda said she likes the pace and how the craft brew industry is evolving.

“Even though I’ve been in this business for a while, I’m still learning new and interesting things about the industry!” said Linda. “I like how things are constantly changing.”

When Linda isn’t hard at work making sure all of our brews are of the utmost quality, she enjoys spending her free time like any true Minnesotan – being outdoors. Whether it’s traveling, camping, hiking or biking, Linda makes sure to find time to get outside whenever she can.

Cheers to you, Linda!

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

We are happy to announce another Minnesota Water Quality Certified farmer! We partner with the Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District and every farmer that gets water quality certified receives a Minnesota Gold 12pk and a Minnesota Gold tin sign. Clean water = great beer!

Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord own and operate Prairie Horizons Farm LLC and became Ag Water Quality Certified in June 2020. Luverne grew up on the farm which has been Certified Organic since 2006. The farm covers 480 acres of perennial pastures and is home to about 150 rotationally grazed Angus cattle. Over 300 acres of row crop acres have been converted to perennial pastures using diverse mixes of warm and cool season grasses, legumes and native forbs. About 100 acres of native prairie is also managed as part of the Forbord’s rotational grazing system.

Prairie Horizons Farm LLC sells USDA Certified Grass-fed Beef from Certified Organic Pastures and a variety of Certified Organic fruits, vegetables and other farm products directly to customers through their on-farm store. Farm tours are available by appointment.

Certified Organic Fruits, Hazelnuts, Garlic & Grass-fed Beef
31008 State Hwy 29 Benson MN (GPS location)
Follow us on Facebook for Farm Store Hours and Events

[Pictured left to right; Grant Pearson Stearns SWCD Certifier and Luverne Forbord.]

Cold Spring Brewing Co. Employee Spotlight – Mitchell Schramel

Every time you open one of our beverages and it has that perfect taste, you can thank our outstanding quality control folks! Mitchell Schramel, our night shift quality control supervisor, makes sure Cold Spring Brewing Company supplies nothing but the best.

Mitchell is a Cold Spring native and has a strong passion for the area. His adventurous personality led him to Duluth, MN for college where he double majored in biology and biochemistry (smarty pants alert!!). He eventually found his way back home, where he decided he wanted to become a member of the Cold Spring Brewing family.

“Originally, I had no idea what working at Cold Spring Brewing would be like – I just thought it sounded really interesting,” says Mitchell. “Five years later, I’m still learning new things about working at a brewery.”

As night shift quality manager, Mitchell’s responsibilities include reviewing quality control department documents, working with customers on resolving quality issues and ensuring that the quality control department remains in tip-top shape.

“I really enjoy working at Cold Spring because things are always changing and I get the opportunity to continue to learn,” says Mitchell. “I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the fifth line up and running and the new warehouse that is in progress.”

When Mitchell is out of the office, he can be found fishing, hiking and breathing in the fresh air of Minnesota’s great outdoors. Thank you for all you do, Mitchell, cheers to you!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Rocky Lindberg

With all the uncertainty in the world today, one thing we’re always grateful for is our
hardworking, dedicated and positive employees. For our April Cold Spring Brewing Company Employee Spotlight, there is no one who expresses these qualities better than our Plant B Night Manager – Rocky Lindberg!

Originally from Duluth, Rocky moved to St. Cloud while he was in elementary school and has remained in the area ever since. In his role at CSBC, Rocky works hard to ensure his team is well-trained, supported and inspired to create high-quality beverages that always surpass our clients’ expectations. He has been a part of the CSBC team for almost 15 years.

“I learned about this opportunity from my brother who was a shift lead at the time,” said Rocky. “I was told that the brewery was a local company that offered great pay and a fun work environment – now, I’ve been here for almost 15 years!”

As Plant B Night Shift Manager, Rocky makes sure the brewhouse’s night shift team is capable of running an efficient production line while maintaining high yields for their high-quality brews – all while promoting a safe work environment.

“My goal is to make sure my team does everything we can to be the fastest and most efficient beverage production line in the country while making sure each member is in a position to succeed,” explained Rocky. “Because of my team’s hard work, we’re well on our way.”

To name a few of Rocky’s other day-to-day duties, he stays busy by interviewing and hiring team members that share in the company’s goals, attending and presenting at meetings, learning how to run the equipment properly, providing one-on-one coaching sessions, communicating daily with team members, completing safety training procedures and quality assurance audits, and keeping other CSBC departments informed, among other responsibilities. To say Rocky helps the CSBC machine run smoothly is an understatement. We couldn’t do it without him.

CSBC is growing and changing, and Rocky is looking forward to the company’s future- including the production of the new operating plant.

“I’m interested in taking on the challenge of the developing Line 5 plant, which is a new addition up here at Plant B,” Rocky shared. “With the addition of a new facility comes new machines and new opportunities. It will no doubt be a fun, mind-blowing experience to see how it all comes together, much like Line 4 was two years ago.”

Rocky’s favorite part of working at CSBC? Working with his team and trying the fun and creative craft brews!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Dustin Philbrick

The “batching process” is a key part of crafting our products. It requires the right equipment, patience, time and – at the center of it all – a trusted, hardworking team. We’re grateful to all of our dedicated employees in this division – and we’re especially proud to highlight Day Shift Batching Supervisor, Dustin Philbrick, as this month’s employee spotlight! Dustin is responsible for assessing batch changes, managing the batching team and inter-department communications related to the operation.

“My day-to-day definitely varies,” said Dustin. “I’ve been here long enough to become a ‘go-to guy’ in a lot of ways, which has been a great learning experience.”

Born and raised in Benson, Minnesota, Dustin joined the Navy following high school. After five years of service, he briefly attended St. Cloud State University. However, he decided that he wanted to do something different – and the idea of working at a brewery was very appealing. In 2005, Dustin decided to join the Cold Spring Brewing Company – and he’s been working with us to make great brews ever since.

“I always thought it would be really cool to work at a brewery,” Dustin explained. “Although, I definitely thought I’d be working with beer – as it turned out, I ended up working a lot more with the energy drinks!”

In his fast-paced role, Dustin works as a supervisor for batching a variety of energy drinks and seltzers. As batching supervisor, Dustin’s role is two-fold. First, he oversees 22 people across three different batching departments in two separate buildings. He is in charge of training new, and existing, employees to work with the new equipment, helps purchase items needed for employees to complete their duties safely and efficiently, and conducts performance reviews. Secondly, he is a subject matter expert in properly batching those delicious energy drinks.

“The role can certainly be challenging,” said Dustin. “For a while, I was in charge of the day shift and night shift, and now we have three supervisors almost trained in three different batching departments. Effectively communicating at multiple levels is always a challenge, but rewarding when you get it right.”

Working through the ranks of the company, Dustin has gained a strong understanding of the importance of effective management. When employees have the leadership, resources and education they need – everyone wins.

“I like to use my previous experience from previous roles at the Brewhouse to help others because we’re stronger together,” explained Dustin. “My role is kind of like an event coordinator

for people and our process, and I work hard to take ownership to ensure our processes run smoothly.”

When asked about what he looks forward to most for the future of Cold Spring Brewing, Dustin expressed his excitement for the upcoming infrastructure changes.

“There are so many construction projects underway,” said Dustin. “We currently have four production lines and we’re building a fifth – it’s stressful at times but cool to learn new skills that will help grow our infrastructure.”

What does Dustin love most about working at a brewery? Simply, the culture of great people.

“I’m grateful for all the people who contributed to the team,” expressed Dustin. “I don’t feel like there is this divide between employees and management. Everyone has each other’s backs or best interests in mind – we have a great culture here.”

When he’s not keeping busy in his role of day shift batching supervisor, Dustin is a true fan of a good brew. He even keeps a keg of Third Street’s Lake State Brown Ale at home.

“I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and cats, and playing the occasional round of golf,” said Dustin. “And of course, having a brew or two.”

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – John Krebs

Ask anyone who works in our brewery or who has toured our brewhouse – it takes a lot of daily maintenance to ensure our crisp, craft beers are brewed perfectly every time. That’s why we’re especially grateful to our Facility Maintenance Planner, John Krebs.

Born and raised in Albany, Minnesota, John has been working with Cold Spring Brewing Company (CSBC) for the past five years, working his way up the ladder in our maintenance department.

“I’ve been doing maintenance my whole career at various levels,” said John. “One thing that I recognized with CSBC is that they were, and continue to be, a growing company. It felt like a stable job and a good fit from the start.”

Originally hired on for a temp service for CSBC, John worked for four years as a line mechanic prior to his promotion to facility maintenance planner. As CSBC’s primary maintenance go-to guy, John and his team handle the maintenance of seven buildings, including the brewhouse. 

“I am responsible for the maintenance of the facility and support systems, like our ammonia refrigeration systems and compressed air systems,” explained John. “I work in the facility where they brew the beer as well as other surrounding warehouse buildings.”

In addition to working on the systems himself, John also manages three maintenance staff and communicates with external contractors for the larger upkeep jobs.

“My team works together to complete building maintenance,” said John. “We occasionally get jobs that are too big to handle internally and, when that happens, I coordinate contractors to ensure we have the resources to get the job done.”

When it comes to what he enjoys most about the craft brew industry, John finds the progression of the industry interesting in itself, especially with booming spikes in hard seltzer production.

“This [craft beer] business is taking off in different directions,” John continued. “But the really exciting part to me is seeing the growth in the hard seltzer market. I find the rapid growth fascinating.”

When asked what he’s most excited about for the future of Cold Spring, John is simply interested in seeing how the facility will change as CSBC grows.

“I’m looking forward to more expansion,” said John. “It’s no secret that we’re continually growing – we had quite a bit of growth last year and we will undoubtedly be growing this year.”

When he’s not keeping busy keeping the brewery in tip-top shape, John enjoys spending his free time gardening – especially tomatoes.  

“I like to garden, everything from watermelon and pickles to lots and lots of tomatoes,” explained John. “My main reason for growing tomatoes is to donate to the Holy Family Church fundraiser during Albany’s Pioneer Days. If you’ve enjoyed one of their tacos-in-a-bag, you’ve had my tomatoes.” 

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Adria Cheney

Other than the hops, malt and barley, we value one additional key ingredient when it comes to
making our special craft brews – our amazing employees! Our energetic, fun and positive team
is made up of a bunch of outstanding folks – and there’s no one better to help manage employee relations than our fantastic Human Resource Manager – Adria Cheney.

Originally from the Twin Cities, Adria was looking for work a bit outside the city that would put her 10 years of human resource experience to good use.

“I saw the posting online and decided to apply,” said Adria. “It’s perfect because I get to utilize my HR experience in an industry I’m new to – and it’s been fun learning how operations work.”

For Adria, no two days as HR manager at Cold Spring Brewing Company (CSBC) are ever the same. Handling everything from employee relations to standardizing policies and structure, she’s no stranger to keeping busy with juggling strategic planning operations for the brewhouse.

“This role has been so fun for me because there are tons of opportunities here,” Adria explained. “It’s also fun to be a part of an organization that’s growing as fast as CSBC.”

One aspect that Adria appreciates about CSBC is the community.

“One of the cool things about working at CSBC is that everyone is involved in the day-to-day brainstorming for operations,” Adria said. “It’s a very inclusive environment and we work hard to ensure that we’re an employer of choice.”

When asked what she is looking forward to most at her future with CSBC, Adria says the challenges and the opportunities.

“I’m most excited for the company’s continued growth,” she noted. “It’s an interesting, fast-paced industry and there’s a complexity to it that’s different from other industries, which I enjoy.”

When not at work, Adria spends the majority of her time with her husband and two children, nine and twelve. They stay very busy with youth sports but when she has time to get away, Adria can be found enjoying a round of golf.

“Most of my free time is toting my kids around for sports, but one of my favorite things to do is golf,” expressed Adria. “My husband and I have been married for 15 years and we love to get away to the course every chance we get – it’s a great life-long sport!”

Cold Spring Brewing Company Employee Spotlight – Ronda Smith

Ronda Smith Image

Cold Spring Brewing Co. (CSBC) has been around for quite some time, seizing every opportunity to draw in employment, new opportunities, and, of course, new beer to the region. We always love to hear about how our fans and employees find us – which is why we love the unique journey of our Shipping Distribution Center (SDC) warehouse manager, Ronda Smith.

“My journey began when my husband was asked to relocate with the company he and I both worked for,” said Ronda. “I decided it was a great time for me to be able to broaden my horizons in the food and beverage industry with a new company. I lucked out when I found Cold Spring, and I haven’t looked back.”

An Alabama native, Ronda was on the move and looking for opportunities to grow within the Cold Spring community. She found a solid foundation in Cold Spring Brewing Company. As an SDC warehouse manager, Ronda is in charge of all products being shipped out to customers while ensuring the flow of day to day operations, inventory management, and process improvement.

“Cold Spring has been around for a very long time and is well known. I felt that it would be an amazing opportunity to find a home, if you will, or somewhere to plant roots,” explained Ronda. “This company keeps growing year after year, which means that they’re doing something right.”

Ronda is a go-getter, always excited to learn new things and teach others along the way. With background in peanut butter manufacturing, she found that learning a whole new process in the brewing industry always keeps her on her toes.

“CSBC is growing exponentially, and they’re heading in the right direction,” said Ronda. “Anyone who wants to grow in the company has the opportunity, which is great for our team members. I’m excited to see where the company will end up in the future.”

When Ronda isn’t hard at work ensuring warehouse processes run smoothly, she can be found hitting the open road.

“I love spending time with my husband and children,” Ronda said. “But you can normally find me on my motorcycle.”

As we’re busy making new batches of our brews, we’re proud to have Ronda on board as an organized and positive team player. Cheers to you!